Background and methods: The efficacy of a structured education programme (AFAS) unter outpatient conditions was evaluated in a pilot study including 25 mild to severely ill adult asthmatics (age 41 ± 2 yrs.) over a period of two and a half years. The main teaching items of the programme are: self-control of the disease with regular peak flow measurements, monitoring of symptoms with a patient diary, effects and side effects of the treatment, correct inhalation technique of asthma medication and the ability of self-management with regard to the actual degree of airflow limitation by the patients. Results: After AFAS the knowledge of the patients regarding the disease as well as the medication increased significantly. There was an improvement of drug therapy: before AFAS only 52 % of the patients used inhaled steroids on a regular basis with regard to 96 % one and two years after participation of AFAS (p < ). The self-control of the disease was improved: before AFAS no patient measured peak flow during acute dyspnoea, compared with 88 % (p < ) and 75 % (p < ) one and two years after AFAS, respectively. The number of severe asthma-attacks decreased significantly from ± per patient and year before education to ± (p s( ) after the first year and to ± (p < ) after the second year. The total number of hospital days due to asthma decreased from 219 days in the year before the participation in AFAS to zero (p < ) in the first year after the education and to 17 days (p < ) after the second year. Conclusions: The efficacy of patient education with AFAS is still evident two years after the course, but a reduction of self-control of the disease was observed during the follow-up period. In conclusion, structured education programmes for adult asthmatics can be effective even under outpatient conditions.